Hydrow vs Concept2 Rowerg: A Head-To-Head Comparison

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Intro

There’s no doubt the COVID pandemic has had devastating effects on people’s lives worldwide, from lockdowns to people losing their livelihoods. Still, one silver lining to come out of the pandemic has been the enormous increase in people working out from home. 

Today we are taking a deep dive into a piece of home gym equipment that is rapidly gaining on treadmills and fitness bikes. Rowing machines are an excellent low-impact way to get fit and have the bonus of providing the user with a total body workout. 

The Hydrow and Concept2 are two industry leaders in the rowing niche. Both rowers each offer their unique features, and this detailed review & comparison sets out to provide you with valuable information to help you choose the right one for you.

In a Hurry?

hydrow vs concept 2 rowerg
  • Concept2 is considered the grandfather of the indoor rowing industry; it was founded way back in 1976 when two former Olympic rowers set out to develop their set of oars. However, within a few years, they managed to produce the best-selling indoor rowing machine of all time. To this day, the Concept2 continues to be a best-seller, and when compared to other rowers such as the Hydrow, the Concept2 is a very affordable piece of home gym equipment.
  • The Hydrow Rower sits at the opposite end of the spectrum regarding price and technology. The Hydrow looks like something out of a science fiction movie and is packed with all the latest features. The monthly membership gives users access to over 3,000 on-demand workouts. But the big crowd favorite is the live classes designed and delivered by top professional trainers and coaches.

Hydrow vs Concept2 Comparison Table 

HydrowConcept2
Price (Usually)$2,295,00$945,00 
Dimensions 86 inches x 25 inches x 47 inches15 in x 21.5 in x 57 inor38 cm x 55 cm x 144 cm
Max User Weight375lbs or 170kgsAs tested by Concept2, 500 lb or 227kg max user weight
Machine Weight145lbs or 65kgsStandard legs 57 lb or 26 kg Tall legs 68 lb or 31 kg
Live ClassesYesNo
BluetoothYes, it comes fully equipped with BlueTooth connectivityYes, the open monitor technology connects to BlueTooth
Resistance TypeState-of-the-art electronically controlled resistanceIt uses air resistance putting you in full control of your stroke
Screen22” dust and sweat resistant LCD touch screen No LCD screen but comes with a PM5 that display data and metrics

The Hydrow Rower Review

Best Magnetic Pick
Hydrow Connected Rowing Machine Hydrow Connected Rowing Machine
4.8

The Hydrow combines the design with innovative technology. Its electromagnetic, computer-controlled drag system creates the ultra-smooth feel of being on the water. Comes with Live and on-demand workouts.

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Specs

  • User Weight Limit: 375lbs or 170kgs
  • Machine Weight: 145lbs or 65kgs
  • LCD Screen: 22” Touch Screen
  • Rower Dimensions: 86 inches x 25 inches x 47 inches
  • Price Tag: $2,295,00

There’s no question about it the Hydrow brand has become one of the industry leaders and continues to grow.

The crystal clear quality of the one-touch LCD screen is unparalleled. It allows users to analyze their essential training metrics and data with one touch. The training and rowing experience is second to none, and the quality of the on-demand classes brings a level of authenticity and realism that its competitors fall short in. 

Some of the world’s best rowing coaches and professionals have designed and delivered the training sessions. The workouts sessions progress slowly and steadily and provide the user with an interactive, fun, and challenging fitness experience. With more than 3,000 on-demand training programs, users of any fitness level will find a workout that suits them down to a tee.

hydrow in a room

Although the membership fee is priced at $38 per month, it’s definitely value for money. Some people may opt not to sign up for the membership fee, but in my opinion, that defeats the purpose of purchasing the Hydrow. The app, the support, the training programs, and the live sessions are all unique selling points that separate Hydrow from the rest. 

With the latest technology and features that create such a realistic experience, the Hydrow is simply one of the best rowers out there. So if you want a rower that is durable and gives you peace of mind, the Hydrow is for you. 

Things I liked:

  • The Hydrow includes an industry-leading five years warranty. 
  • A 22″ touchscreen with dust and sweat repellant capabilities
  • A 375lb maximum user weight makes the Hydrow perfect for bigger body types.
  • A smooth and quiet rowing experience controlled by electrically regulated resistance
  • The app and touchscreen make tracking all your important training data very straightforward.
  • Bluetooth connectivity makes connecting to the app or speakers straightforward and speedy.

Things To Consider:

  • The app will set you back $38 per month, which might be pretty costly for some people, but remember, the app offers over 3,000 + on-demand classes and workouts. 
  • The Hydrow might not be ideal for those users who have limited space. Unfortunately, the rowing machine is quite large and doesn’t fold away like many competitors.

Concept2 Rowerg Review

Best Air Pick
Concept2 RowErg (Known as Model D) Concept2 RowErg (Known as Model D)
4.9

The best-selling rowing machine in the world for over 40 years. Used by elite athletes for competitive training, the versatile Model D fits in as well in fitness facilities and home gyms as it does in boathouses around the world.

Specs

  • User Weight Limit: 500lbs or 227kgs
  • Machine Weight: Standard legs 57 lb or 26 kg / Tall legs 68 lb or 31 kg
  • LCD Screen: PM5
  • Rower Dimensions: 15 in x 21.5 in x 57 in or 38 cm x 55 cm x 144 cm
  • Price Tag: $945,00

The Concept2 indoor fitness rower was designed way back in 1976 by two former Olympic athletes who set out with the goal to manufacture specially designed oars. But within six years, they had somehow managed to not only design and produce the oars, but they developed the Concept2 that went on to become the world’s most recognized rower.

The flywheel is a significant feature of the Concept2, and it helps adjust the air resistance, which gives you total control during the activity. The PM5 monitor accurately tracks your training data and metrics such as

  • Calories 
  • Time 
  • Distance
  • Heart rate 
  • Cadence and watts

Although the monitor looks outdated, it comes with specifically designed training programs and games to improve your fitness and keep you from getting bored. 

rowerg-home-male

Another feature that I should mention is the build quality of the Concept2. Built and designed by two former Olympic Cyclists, the Concept2 is a rowing machine for serious rowers. It has a max user weight of a whopping 500lbs and gives rowers peace of mind when going hard. 

Although the Concept2 is a large and sturdy rower, it folds away quickly and easily, making it ideal for users with limited space.

Finally, but not least, is the 5-year warranty on the Concept2 frame, with two years on other parts and components.

Things I liked:

  • The Concept2 has an incredibly smooth and silky flywheel with a specially designed damper that controls air resistance
  • The PM5 is a performance monitor that makes it easy to track critical metrics and data
  • Built-in workouts are included, so you’re not left to create your workouts
  • Super easy to assemble, and the Concept2 rower folds away in the blink of an eye
  • The Concept2 is robust and made from high-grade materials
  • It’s a relatively quiet rowing machine compared to other fitness machines such as air bikes or treadmills.

Things To Consider:

  • The Concept2 is a relatively basic rowing machine that some people may find a bit off a put-off
  • Both the look and style are pretty outdated, and if you prefer a modern, sleek-looking rowing machine like the Hydrow, then the Concept2 is probably not for you.

Detailed Comparison

Price

When it comes to the price of these two exceptional rowing machines, they couldn’t be further apart.

  • The Hydrow is a top-of-the-line prestige piece of home gym equipment and, as such, demands a price of $2,295,00. You also need to factor in the $38 monthly fee for the app, but the app is worth every penny, as I’ve mentioned before.
  • The Concept2 is priced at a very reasonable $945, and for a rowing machine that many experts consider to be the best of all time, the Concept2  screams value for money. The Concept2 is perfect for those who don’t want to spend exorbitant amounts of money on their rower and comes with no costly membership fees. 

Dimensions 

These rowers are similar in overall dimensions, and although they take up some space, they’re not as big as you might think. 

  • The Concept2 has dimensions of 15 in x 21.5 in x 57 in or 38 cm x 55 cm x 144 cm.
  • The Hydrow Rower, on the other hand, measures 86 inches x 25 inches x 47 inches. If you are concerned about space, it’s critical to consider that rowers are pretty significant in size compared to indoor fitness bikes, for example. I would highly recommend you make accurate measurements of your home gym space before you look at selecting the right rower for you. 

Weight

The Hydrow and the Concept2 are strong, sturdy, robust rowing machines that accommodate impressive maximum user weights. 

  • The Concept2 has a very impressive 500lbs or 227kgs, perfect for rowers that are heavier in stature. The machine’s weight for the Standard model legs is 57 lb or 26 kg, while the model designed with the taller legs weighs 68 lb or 31 kg.
  • The Hydrow Rower has a maximum user weight of 375lbs or 170kgs and a total machine weight of 145lbs or 65kgs. Both bikes are made from heavy-grade metals and composite materials that deliver durability and affordability.

Storage

  • The RowErg is uncomplicated to wheel about for workouts and can be quickly separated into two pieces (no tools required) for compact storage. Ideal for homes or gyms that need flexible space. The taller legs of the elevated version feature large caster wheels for easier moving.
  • You won’t be disappointed with the Hydrow as its impressive space-age frame fits seamlessly into your daily life. Although the Hydrow measures 85 “L x 25 “W and 130lbs, it can stand upright in the tightest of spaces, making it ideal for those living in smaller houses or apartments.

Sound

  • The Hydrow takes advantage of the latest technology by utilizing a responsive and dynamic resistance system that is electronically controlled. A webbed strap made with industrial quality provides a smooth, dynamic, and most importantly, silent rowing experience.
  • It’s fair to say The Concept2 is not the quietest rowing machine on the market. Its chain is noisy, but I like it as it gives the user a genuine sense of working out. Remember the Concept2 is an air rower, so it will produce that “whooshing” sound we’re all so familiar with hearing in the gym.  

Connectivity

  • The Concept2 doesn’t come jam-packed with all the latest gadgets like 22″ touch screens but in saying that, the data and metrics provided are plenty enough to get a challenging workout. You will find five pre-programmed workouts, including 
  • Single distance
  • Single time and 
  • Intervals for time, distance, and a mixture of both

The PM5 screen displays time, speed, calories burnt, distance, and watts in a clear and precise way, making them easy to track while rowing.

  • The Hydrow excels in this area and provides users with Bluetooth connectivity and the option of a monthly membership offering the user access to an expansive library of live and on-demand classes. The Bluetooth 5.0 is set up to connect your speakers and a heart rate monitor if you please.

Ergonomics

  • The Concept2 is both practical and functional when it comes to design quality. They were designed and developed by former Olympic rowers. Their expertise and experience show through with an ergonomic design that screams pure authenticity. The adjustable footrests are simple and easy to use and fit various shoe sizes. The handle has been designed with a 10° bend allowing you to row using a natural rhythmical stroke. 
  • The Hydrow was developed with elegance and sophistication at its core, and when it came to engineering a machine with performance in mind, no stone was left unturned. The result; a rowing machine that’s both stylish and durable. An ergonomically designed seat with a 10-point-roller system provides the perfect comfort and cushioning for your bum on those longer sessions.

Concept2 with Hydrow App: How it Compares to the Hydrow Rower Experience?

One of the main disadvantages many people think of when it comes to Concept2 is its distinct lack of technology. But to be honest with you, it’s refreshing to see the original leader of the pack sticking to its roots and focusing solely on the rowing experience. 

A question or concern you regularly see from potential customers is whether you can use the Concept2 without an app or even with the Hydrow app?

Well, you’ll be happy to know that you most certainly can use the Concept2 rower with the Hydrow app. It’s simply a matter of streaming it to your devices such as smartphones or tablets. 

The beauty of this setup is you get the realistic rowing feel of the Concept2 and access to 3,000 + on-demand sessions from Hydrow. It’s a perfect blend of practicality, functionality, and technology, all of which provide a rowing experience that is enjoyable, interactive, and challenging.

One happy user had this to say “I’m pleased with my new setup and the Hydrow app. I got one of those cheap gooseneck tablet mounts that were recommended with a refurbished 12.9″ iPad Pro. Although the app is optimized for iPhone, the playback is fine. Even if you have to buy an iPad, it’s the smarter value”. 

Another user said, “The app is built so you can put together warmups, workouts, cooldowns, and stretching sessions however you like. I don’t know if the Hydrow app would suit a really ambitious athlete, but it’s great for me; a casual rower who doesn’t want to stare at my PM5 screen of doom for 30 minutes a day”.

So yes, as you can see from these users who have real-world experience with both the Hydrow and the Concept2, syncing the Hydrow app is straightforward and provides the bests of both worlds.

Hydrow or Concept2: How to decide which is for me?

  1. Hydrow Connected Rowing Machine
  2. Hydrow Connected Rowing Machine
    4.8

    The Hydrow combines the design with innovative technology. Its electromagnetic, computer-controlled drag system creates the ultra-smooth feel of being on the water. Comes with Live and on-demand workouts.

    Holiday Sale for Limited Time: Save $300 on any Package!

    Price & Reviews Get -$300 OFF Coupon
  3. Concept2 RowErg (Known as Model D)
  4. Concept2 RowErg (Known as Model D)
    4.9

    The best-selling rowing machine in the world for over 40 years. Used by elite athletes for competitive training, the versatile Model D fits in as well in fitness facilities and home gyms as it does in boathouses around the world.

    Price & Reviews Buy from Rogue Fitness

Which of these two indoor fitness machines is right for you? Several critical factors need to be considered to answer that question, especially before you go spending excessive amounts of money on an indoor rower.

Both of these rowers, the Hydrow and the Concept2, have their own uniques benefits and features; it’s just a matter of deciding which one is for you. 

The Hydrow is perfect for

  • If you’re an athlete that’s after an incredibly realistic workout, then the Hydrow is for you
  • Ideal if you don’t enjoy studio-style sessions
  • Perfect if you love the idea of being outside wrapped by Mother Nature
  • If you love on-demand training sessions and live classes, the Hydrow is ideal
  • Users after a smooth, quiet, and realistic electronically controlled resistance system

The Concept2 is perfect for

  • Users after a rowing machine with an unbridled pedigree and reputation
  • Users that prioritize build-quality over technology
  • Users who want a machine that folds away quickly and easily
  • Athletes who would like to use a third-party fitness app of their choice
  • Easy to read and analyze, reliable workout data and metrics without all the fluff.

Other Alternatives? How Do They Compare To Hydrow & Aviron 

Ergatta Rower

The Ergatta Rower is a classically designed rower that is one of the most eye-pleasing pieces of fitness equipment on the market today. With a weight capacity of over 500lbs, the rower is solid and provides the user with confidence and peace of mind when rowing strenuously.

If you’re a person who likes to work out and do things your way, then the Ergatta Rower is right up your alley. Compared to the Hydrow and the Aviron rowers, the Ergatta is a bit more clunky and offers more of an old-school feel than the smoother, quieter experience of the Aviron and Hydrow.

Aviron Interactive Rower

Aviron Impact Interactive Rower Aviron Impact Interactive Rower
4.7

Lightweight with patented folding technology. Designed with a comfortable 20" seat height. No need to crouch to get on & no struggle to dismount after a workout.

Aviron Impact Interactive Rower Aviron Touch Interactive Rower
4.8

Built tough with a 507 lb. weight limit & premium features. The seat is equipped with commercial-grade bearings & double-width rollers to increase machine longevity.

The Aviron brand has become one of the most recognizable and reputable indoor rower manufacturers globally. The build quality, design, engineering, and software are at the very highest levels of the indoor fitness market.

Aviron currently sells two rowers, the Aviron Impact and the Aviron Tough prices respectively at $2,199,00 and $2,499,00. Now while these prices may seem relatively high, once you understand all the latest features, gadgets, and tech that comes with it, you’ll be singing its praises. The sheer amount of games, workouts, training programs, and features such as youtube make the Aviron hard to go by.

Related:
Hydrow vs Aviron: A Detailed Comparison

CITYROW

The CITYROW rower combined with WaterRower in 2014 and developed a resistance system based on, that’s right, water. The resistance system is not a gimmick as the water provides infinite resistance only restricted by the users themselves. 

The sound of the water sloshing around can be mesmerizing, and the feel and sensation you get from the water are as close to the real things you’re going to get.

Related:
Hydrow vs CITYROW: A Detailed Comparison

NordicTrack RW900 Rower

Runner-Up
NordicTrack RW900 Rowing Machine NordicTrack RW900 Rowing Machine
4.8

With the RW900’s Rotating Smart HD Touchscreen, you can take part in immersive workouts, then hop off your rower for a strength training session or yoga in beautiful locales. Stream live & on-demand workouts on iFIT.

Priced at $1,599,00, you almost can’t go wrong with the RW900 rower from one of the most reputable names in the indoor fitness industry.

The RW900 NordicTrack rower is simply a fantastic machine that offers on-demand and live workouts that have been designed by top coaches and are focused on getting the best out of yourself in an interactive and fun way.

The Hydrow and Aviron brands are focused solely on making great rowers, while NordicTrack focuses on a wide range of indoor fitness equipment such as bikes and treadmills.

F.A.Q. 

Does iFit work with Concept 2 rower?

Yes, the beauty of the Concept2 rower is the latest in technology, including Bluetooth connectivity which also seamlessly connects to the iFit app. This is a significant bonus for users lucky enough to own a Concept2 and provides training options its competitors don’t.

Do I need a mat under my Concept 2 rower?

No, however, it is advisable to place a rubber mat under your Concept2. The reason is that the mat helps to deaden the sound of the rower while keeping it from moving. A mat will also help catch any sweat; just be sure to wipe and spray it daily with disinfectant to keep those nasty germs away.

Can beginners use Hydrow?

Yes, Hydrow does an excellent job targeting workouts for beginners. On-demand classes and introductory videos teach beginners the correct rowing techniques, metrics analysis, and the major muscle groups engaged. All in all, Hydrow is perfect for beginners, users from other sports, and those recovering from injury.

Conclusion 

Well, that was one of our most detailed reviews to date. We hope you came away with adequate advice and information to determine better for you; the Hydrow or the Concept2.

Regardless of the rower you choose, you won’t be disappointed.

Always ensure that proper nutrition, stretching, and relaxation strategies are part of your overall health and fitness plan. 

Happy rowing!

Brenton Barker

Brenton holds a Degree in Sports Coaching from the University of Delaware and was the former Head Advisor for the Japanese Government's Sports Science Institute. Brenton currently consults with several Professional Athletes and clients in Self- Accountability, Health, and Goal Orientation.

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